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Academics
Middle School

Exploration Courses

Small enough and smart enough to truly personalize each learning experience.
Explorations courses are designed to immerse students and faculty in experiences and pursuits that inspire new interests, broaden skills, and sharpen awareness of the community outside of the classroom.  Rooted in academic and real world skills, they are designed on a pass/fail basis to encourage students and faculty to risk, to be playful, to venture into new territory such as the art of Beekeeping, forensics, sportscasting, personal finance, podcasting and more.

During Explorations, Middle School students can take Band and Strings or Chorus without having to choose between the arts and study hall, and Explorations will now give MS and US students more opportunities to participate in community service. In the Middle School, Explorations will take place during the 7th and 8th blocks and students can participate in up to two Exploration courses per term.

List of 16 items.

  • A World of FOOD

    For aspiring journalists with a love of cuisine. This class will focus on writing restaurant/ food reviews for magazines. Students will dive into content from epicurious and various major news publications and try new cuisine from different places. Students will test their knowledge by describing different cuisines and finally writing their very own restaurant review.
  • Child Development/Babysitter Certification

    Students will learn and practice skills to be a safe, competent babysitter. Students will explore child development and areas of concern in the growth and development of a child. 
     
  • Creative Writing and Photography in Nature

    Nature provides a wonderful backdrop for the creative mind. Explore our area, take photographs and use this to inspire your creative writing as we learn from famous writers who dedicated their works to nature.
  • Crime Scene Investigation

    Students will explore different methods used to solve real life crimes. Techniques examined may include hair, fingerprint and footprint analysis as well as blood spatter patterns and bullet trajectory. These techniques will be used to solve who done it. 
     
  • D-Sauce: Derryfield's "What-If" Channel

    What if... There is a YouTube channel called Vsauce, where the host answers "What if?" questions (ex. What if the Earth stopped spinning?). In small groups students will choose their own "What if?" question and try to answer it.
  • Destination Imagination

    Destination Imagination provides unique challenges for the creative engineer as well as performer. We can pick from –Technical, Scientific, Engineering, Fine Arts, Improvisational, and Service Learning challenges. We will compete at the NH event and hopefully move beyond to regional and national events. One way or the other we will have a lot of fun creating cool solutions to the exciting challenges! 
     
  • Improvisational Theater

    Students will explore their own, unique performing talents through improvisation. Games, scenes, and crazy scenarios will allow each student to express themselves in a spontaneous and creative way.
  • Instrumental Ensemble

    The MS Band program allows students, beginner through advanced, to learn about and make music together to gain skill on concert band instruments (i.e. flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, baritone and percussion). Throughout the week there are large ensemble rehearsals, small group coaching sessions, and the opportunity for student driven small group ensembles. Through mentorship, leadership, and musicianship this community grows together and prepares music for All School Assemblies, talent shows, school concerts and other on and off campus activities.
  • Model UN

    Role play international negotiations in a competition-like atmosphere that will have us learning about current world issues. 
     
  • MS Chorus

    Chorus is for any student with an interest in singing. Students will sing a wide variety of 3 to 4 part choral music (pop, musical theatre, classical, folk, etc...), attend field trips, have in-class competitions, and perform in 3 concerts. Students in Chorus are eligible to be in the Middle School a cappella group, Noteworthy. 
     
  • MS Math Team

    Deepen your love for math as you tackle challenging problems. Learn teamwork, resilience, and problem solving. Compete individually and as a team and make great memories
  • MS Newspaper

    Be part of the crew that reports on all things DS middle school in both print and digital media. This mini-course will help you hone your interviewing and writing skills as you work with your peers in a team of reporters. It's a busy school, after all, someone has to report on it! 
     
  • Political and Public Debate

    This course will focus on current events in the news, especially those that affect us. We will improve our ability to recognize bias in sources while we learn to strengthen our own opinions based on facts. We will host and run lively debates throughout the term. 
     
  • Robotics: Ready, Set, Race!!

    This is a fun introduction to the world of robotics. First, we will form racing teams, NASCAR style, complete with logos and sponsors. Each team will then build a fairly simple robot race car using an Arduino kit and learn to code it. Ultimately, we will create challenges that involve pitting the robot race cars against each other to see which one performs better and earns match points. Over the course of the term, the points will add up and finally at the end of the "racing season," we will declare a grand champion robot racer. The winning team will get its picture taken with their robot race car and a cool 3D printed trophy. The photograph will be framed and hung in the X studio Hall of Legendary Makers! 
  • Sports Journalism

    Students will report weekly on the MS sports happenings. Weekly reports will appear in DS news/nuts and bolts along with photos that students take. Reports may also be used to update the school athletic webpages. 
     
  • The Art of Public Speaking

    For some reason, public speaking typically ranks #1 of adult fears lists - most likely because adults have chosen to avoid speaking in public instead of developing this critical skill. We'll study great speeches/speakers as we craft our own voices and presentation skills in a variety of speaking genres from formal to fun to slam poetry to how to deliver a good joke. 
     

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The Derryfield School

2108 River Road, Manchester, NH 03104     p: 603.669.4524     f: 603.625.9715